First Impressions: Deca Sports Demo

April 23, 2008

Earlier this month Hudson sent over a a demo disc for their upcoming Deca Sports title. It’s not surprising that developers are still going after the market created by Wii Sports. Wii Sports was meant to be a simple yet shallow tech demo to show off what the Wii was capable of. Instead, it became the defacto standard by which many Wii games are still compared to.

I know that Wii Sports continues to find itself in my Wii with a greater frequency than any other game we own.

Deca Sports is what I would refer to as a Wii Sports clone. It takes a handfull of sports and attempts to allow you to play them using lifelike motions via the Wii Remote. The menus are polished and easy to use, but the lack of Mii support takes it down a notch. Part of the allure of Wii Sports is seeing your character out there playing and Deca Sports just doesn’t have that.

Instead, you select 1 of 8 teams and then select one of the characters on that team to play as. It’s just not the same thing.

Deca Sports does have a larger selection of available sports to choose from including: Beach Volleyball, Snowboard Cross, Badminton, Basketball, Curling, Figure Skating, Archery, Supercross, Soccer and Kart Racing. The Demo was limited to Badminton, Beach Volleyball, Supercross, and Figure Skating.

After checking out Badminton, I felt like the controls were a little stiff and unresponsive. I got the same vibe after Beach Volleyball. Supercross and Figure Skating were much more responsive and tight from a controls perspect.

It was obvious that Hudson took the time to try and actually replicate real life motions in the controls for these sports, but with games that are so similar in Beach Volleyball and Badminton I felt like I was just swinging the remote up and down at the right time. There was nothing really to them and it made for a very forgettable gaming experience.

Surprisingly enough, my favorite event on the demo disk was Figure Skating. Figure Skating makes use of the nunchuck and has you steer your skater along a path of yellow dots on the ice using the analog stick. It very much reminded me of a 3D version of Pac-Man. Along the path you come to larger spots on the ice. These are your trick spots. Simple flick your remote in an upwards motion to trigger the trick. Your score is awarded based on accuracy of the tricks and you get more points for executing your trick closer to the center of these large dots.

In all, it was the most unlikely game to stand out, yet it did.

I’ve got high hopes for Deca Sports as I can’t wait to check out Archery and Curling, but you can’t help but notice that it simply lacks the polish of a first party Nintendo title.

Deca Sports is slated for release on May 13th for the Nintendo Wii. More information can be found at